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Dr Russell - Op Wallacea Madagascar - 30th July 2011

Day 11

Began today with a walk into the forest with Felix and Roger.  Roger is the camp manager for Opwall here and Felix is the small mammal specialist.  Went to check 2 lines of traps and found one shrew tenrec which was measured, marked and released.  All the other traps were empty but they’d only been laid yesterday.

Back to camp and out in the afternoon looking for signs of the fossa with Ben and Tash.  The fossa is about the size of a spaniel and is a carnivore that is quite catlike (though not a cat) and quite elusive.  Crept slowly through the forest for a couple of hours and found some fossa tracks – saw plenty of things – but no fossa.

After dinner we went out to clear an area on route 2 which would pick up tracks, lay a camera trap and deposit some chicken giblets to try to lure a fossa in.  Sat and waited for a couple of hours but no sign so headed back to camp.  On the way back found a hedgehog tenrec – remarkably like our own hedgehogs and yet evolved completely separately.